Government supports closure of Rothesay Sheriff Court

Rothesay Sheriff Court should be closed – that’s the verdict the Scottish Government has delivered following the proposal by the Scottish Court Service (SCS).

The SCS report, which stated its recommendation ‘would affect only a small number of the local population’ was approved by ministers in the Scottish Government, and will now be placed before MSPs who will decide whether Rothesay Sheriff Court will be closed in November 2013, with all business relocated to Greenock Sheriff Court.

Speaking following the announcement, Michael Russell, MSP for Argyll and Bute, said: “I remain opposed to the change in Rothesay and to the reduction in jury trials in Argyll and I will continue to make those representations to the Justice Secretary.

“I would be happy to suggest to him that he meets a delegation from Rothesay to hear the case for retention of the Sheriff Court though the decision to do so would finally be his.”

Alan Reid, Liberal Democrat MP for Argyll and Bute, said: “Closing Rothesay Sheriff Court will cause considerable inconvenience to litigants, witnesses and the police, who will all have to travel to Greenock. Justice should be administered locally on Bute, and I call on our SNP MSPs to vote against this proposal when it comes before the Scottish Parliament.

“Local SNP MSP Mike Russell has criticised this proposal. I hope that he will follow up his criticism by voting against the closure in the Scottish Parliament. If our local MSPs all vote against the closure, Rothesay Sheriff Court will be saved.

“Closing Rothesay Sheriff Court will only save the taxpayer £6,000 a year. Local justice is worth more than that.”

* Let us know what you think by writing to The Buteman, 5 Victoria Street, Rothesay, Isle of Bute PA20 0AJ, or by emailing news@buteman.com